Saturday, February 01, 2014

Question: do I need a website?

Agents are interested in my book; ie requests for full and partials.

Some of the blogs, etc. suggest that I design a web page. I have an idea for the cover, etc., but isn't this dangerous? I would imagine that the publisher would want to be the first to announce and publicize the book.

What do you think?

Well, at first I thought this was a joke but on the off chance you're asking this seriously, let's review:

1. The purpose of a web page is to provide your contact details, and information about you, and your book. You don't have a book right now. You have a manuscript. Your web page will not, under any circumstances, have a cover for a book that isn't published. Not now. Not ever. It's a red flag signalling poorly prepared, and you do not want to wave that flag at all.

2. The fact that agents are interested in your work is certainly good news but it does not mean that you will have a published book. I have several clients with a very good agent who loves their book with a white-hot passion and are not published (mystifying I tell you, mystifying)

3. Publishers do not announce books. If this statement perplexes you, let me know and I'll explain.


William Coleman said...

I have wondered what unpublished authors put on their websites.

"Hello, I am author Shark Bait. You haven't heard of me because I am unpublished, but if you want to contact me, here's how."; seems to be lacking.

Is there a format? Or does one really say, "This is me. Be ready for me when I am published"?

Anonymous said...

@William maybe it is better to try writing for magazines/journals/web writing/etc. so you have something to throw into the content? Clips/creds are better than nothing...

Also - Publishers do not announce books?!

Thought they waved flags down the street shouting "It's a girl!" ;D haha that image will crack me up for the rest of the day thanks Madam Shark! :D

Anonymous said...

I am unpublished but have a "website," a.k.a. a blog, but either way, it's a site and it's on the web. I blog about writing, etc. There are probably one too many of these sites at this point, but, I've been doing it for three years, might as well keep on.

It shows my tweets, and automatically puts my blog posts out on Twitter. I've connected it to Goodreads so people can see what I'm reading.

The reason I started it was to fulfill the checklist on what I'd read about having an online presence and publishing, but now, I like blogging as a way to interact with others who share the same goal. I realize it lacks the true components of what an author's site would have (pub'ed books, giveaways of books, book tour schedule - if book is doing really good, and connecting to readers of their books) but at least a publisher wouldn't be starting from scratch with someone who knew nothing about the day to day maintenance of a site.

Unknown said...

That is so adorable. He/She thinks the publisher is going to make an announcement.

I could just pinch their little cheeks, that's so cute.

But I shouldn't make fun. I remember those days. All part and pain of the learning process.

Jenz said...

So you've read advice that you should have a web presence, and you don't believe it because you're imagining something wildly different from what you're actually being told to do.

It's not a site about the book, it's a site about you. It could be just one page with a brief bio and contact info, or it could be a blog. If you haven't seen any author sites yet, start looking around. To begin, you can click on Donna Everhart's name at the top of her comment and see hers.

If you decide to buy a domain with your name (which is a good idea) make sure you snap it up as fast as possible. Domain squatters purposely watch for searches like that, then buy them up if the searcher does not. They do it in the hopes of forcing you to pay big money for it later. Just an FYI that many people learn the hard way (like I did).